Dear Bobcat parent and family members,

Well, it has been a wild ride during the first six weeks of the semester. We survived the wettest September in recent memory and a winter storm that brought over four feet of snow to parts of Montana. While it wasn't the coldest Parent & Family Weekend ever, it was close. And this past weekend? I was out in Sourdough Canyon on Sunday afternoon with my family in shorts and a t-shirt. Never a dull moment in Montana where the weather is concerned.  

While we've had lots of foreshadowing that winter is right around the corner, I'm not willing to let go of fall. It's Homecoming week, with all of the fun campus activities that traditionally come with it. And we are also near the half-way point in the semester, which means mid-term exams are approaching fast. Hopefully, your student has settled into their semester academics--with confidence.

As we continue our work to help your student be academically successful at MSU, I want to make you aware of one of our innovative programs to improve retention and graduation rates. Sophomore Surge is a program that provides peer mentors in University Seminar courses to support and guide freshmen through their first year in order to surge them into sophomore year. If your first-year student is enrolled in a University Seminar class this fall, chances are they have a Surge Mentor. Surge Mentors meet with their first-year mentees in the seminar classroom and outside of class where they support the transition to sophomore year by:

  • Providing guidance and support in the seminar's curriculum
  • Encouraging self-reflection and support timely completion of milestones
  • Hosting group meals and social activities together
  • Promoting attendance at campus and community events and activities

I'm curious to hear if your first-year student has mentioned their Surge mentor or if any sophomore parents heard about their student's experience last year with a Surge mentor. 

As always, don't hesitate to be in touch if you ever have a sense that your student needs additional support. 


Matthew R. Caires

Dean of Students

P.S. For those parent and family members in the greater Denver Area, please join me and Leon Costello, MSU Director of Athletics, at Wynkoop Brewing on Oct. 24 to celebrate the MSU Mile High Chapter's 5th anniversary. 

Bobcat Parent & Family Program
174 Strand Union Building | P.O. Box 174220 | Bozeman, MT 59717 | [email protected] | 406-994-7359